Earlier this month we said goodbye to two of our team members, Neo Matsei and Emi Adriano. Both started at CN&CO as interns and soon became fully fledged members of the team.

Neo has left us to join one of our founding clients, ITOO, while Emi is heading off to Australia to go and work at a Sydney-based events company.

“We are extremely proud of the growth we have seen in Neo and Emi since they joined us in 2016 and 2017 respectively,” says CN&CO chief señor, Carel Nolte. “They both grew in skill and confidence during their tenure at CN&CO and parted ways with us on very good terms. I have no doubt they will be extremely successful in their new ventures and go on to do great things.”

CN&CO has, from launch, had a stated intent to formally and informally support young South Africans – especially women and black South Africans – to contribute meaningfully to South Africa’s economy. Says Carel:

“Every single business in South Africa – no matter its size – can and must assist our youth. We need to create opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, share knowledge. Yes, government policies aren’t always supportive, yes there are challenges but we can’t continue using these as excuses. I am especially proud that a small business like CN&CO has provided Neo, Emi and literally dozens of other young people work opportunities. And I thank them for what they have taught me and the team.”

“I wish someone had told me how hard it would be to say goodbye :-),” says Neo. “Working at CN&CO has been nothing short of amazing. I’ve had the best times there and learnt so much about myself in the process.

“Coming straight from varsity, I can say confidently that it was a great place to head-start my career as I was exposed to a vast of brands in different sectors. Working with the team I have been able to sponge wisdom and a great outlook on life. My love for travel started when I joined CN&CO – I went from writing a blog for our partner, Club Med, to actually spending a week in a Club Med resort. This was the best experience yet and I will always be grateful for such a lifetime opportunity.

“Now as I spread my wings I wish to take this experience into the next venture in my life and ‘do the most’.”

Carel has this to say about Neo: “She may be small in size, but she’s a giant in terms of work ethic, her value system and humour. I can’t wait to see how this brilliant South African continues to make her family and all of us proud.”

Emi, true to her own style, wrote us this note just after she left:

“John F. Kennedy once said that ‘every accomplishment starts with the decision to try’ and it’s safe to say that one of my greatest accomplishments thus far has been being able to call CN&CO family. What once was a ‘just try it out’ turned into all I’ve known for the last few years and I couldn’t have chosen a better team to have learnt and grown up alongside. CN&CO has taught me how to try, fail and learn. To be humble, hungry and hardworking. That consistency is far more important than perfection and most importantly to JUST START. 

“It’s hard to narrow down one highlight in particular but I am privileged to have been exposed to so many different places, spaces and people. I was once told that if my dreams don’t scare me, they aren’t big enough. The lessons I have learnt from CN&CO have been invaluable and I will carry them with me wherever I go. 

“There’s no such thing as being completely ready, and I may never feel like I have everything all figured out and that’s ok too, but I’ve always been taught that if you get to a place where you’re a little bit more excited than afraid, what’s when you go for it! My time is now! 

“’And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginning.’ – Meister Eckhart”

Says Carel: “Emi has many hidden talents – like her brilliant writing ability. I am chuffed that she has grown these talents and that she will use them in her future endeavours. Oz had better be ready for this South African Italian dynamo!

Good luck to Neo and Emi in all their future endeavours. You will always be a part of our CN&CO family.